Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Camp Cromwell 24/02/09

Late War Big Push 2000 pts on 8x6 table
Jim & Steve's Grenadiers defending v. Nick, Byron, Rich & Elizabeth's Russian Armour

The Russians had 3 platoons: 5 JS + 5 Shermans + 10 Shermans + 1 cmd Sherman & Sturmoviks.
The Germans had 1 Grenadier, 105's & a King Tiger on the table, 3 Pak 40s & 4 Marders in ambush with 2 more Grenadiers, HMG, Neblewerfers & 2 SPAA in reserve.

The Germans suffered badly in the preliminary bombardment losing half their artillery & anti-tank guns. It got worse on turn 2 when the Sturmoviks got the King Tiger - a cause for much cellebration on one side of the table (see pic 2)& equal despair on the other. On the other hand, the Russians lost a few tanks on the minefields & to the surviving 2 105's as they advanced.

The JS's went to the left, the small Sherman platoon to the right & the large Sherman platoon up the centre. (Pic 1 shows the initial deployment).

The German reserves were slow to arrive so the line looked awfully thin. The Marder ambush was put in the centre wood to face the large Sherman platoon, but shot badly, getting just one with 6 shots. Then when the artillery was finished off by the JS's & the lead one took an objective it looked all over. But the Germans had a card or two left. The 1 surviving Pak 40 was dropped out of ambush to contest the objective & 2 Marders survived return fire to hit back & force a morale test on the Sherman platoon (weakened in the minefields & by boggings in the woods). The Shermans failed morale & when the Commander tried to rally them he failed too. The only German reinforcements to show up, a Grenadier platoon, had shrugged off the Sturmoviks & was now able to support the Pak 40 on the objective near the JS's. Suddenly the Germans had a sniff.

The 5 Shermans on the right now attacked the 1st Grenadiers on the other objective while the JS's backed off from the 2nd Grenadiers & finished off the last Pak 40. The 1st Grenadiers had a Panzerfaust & support by HQ with 2 Panzerknackers, so it was a fair fight, but the German luck reverted to form & the Shermans took the objective.

The Germans had one last chance for victory, the 2 surviving Marders moved to the edge of the wood for side shots on the last 2 JS's. They needed a bail to force a morale test on the platoon, or 2 kills to destroy it - as the Russians had already lost their commander this would have meant Coy Morale failure & a German victory. They got the two hits, but the JS's threw 2 5's to save & the German miracle comeback finally petered out.

With the Germans decimated by the preliminary bombardment & the air strike on their KT on turn 2, it had then looked like it was only matter of the Russians going through the motions. But the ambushes, weakened as they were, plus a bit of luck swung the game back into the balance. It goes to show that if you have a sound plan & hold your nerve, there's always a chance of getting out of jail in FOW.

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